“Well, at least you tried.”

These are the words offered up as some form of comfort when one has, most probably tried and failed. Not that they offer much in the way of making you feel better at the time of course. In that moment the fact you should be proud of putting in any effort feels somewhat akin to a participation trophy at a sports event. After all, was it not wise master yoda who said “Do or do not. There is no try.” Yet recently, I have been re-examining just how rare it is to try something and have come to the conclusion that perhaps this is indeed something to be celebrated.

I have always been blessed with a high drive to put in the time and effort into achieving my dreams, in the variety of formats they have taken over the years. My mantra is that if you can take an hour away from leisure and direct it towards something ‘productive’ those hours will soon add up.

Nothing rubs me quite the wrong way like someone who often talks about their dream and then doesn’t actively do anything to try and achieve it. We live in an age where education is practically free, where we are more connected to each other than ever before and so, it surely must be easier to find the right people to help accomplish our goals. Sure, we can’t all be astronauts or rockstars but that doesn’t mean we can’t visit NASA or play a local pub.

Covid19 has been challenging for all of us in different ways, but for many it has also been an opportunity. With the limitation of staying in our homes, many people  have been left with unexpected weeks and months to keep themselves (and their families) entertained. Surely, you would think that is is the perfect opportunity to start writing that book, or recording that podcast or learn a new skill and yet for every person I’ve seen embracing the unexpected downtime afforded them, I’ve also seen people do….well not much of anything.

I am surprised just how many people I’ve talked to who have fallen quickly into a pattern of not doing anything. Two people spring to mind whose jobs are under threat at the moment, and yet neither have felt the need to start online course to learn new skills, increase their options in the months to come and for the life of me, I just can’t comprehend it.

My only conclusion I can come to is that while we may all write ‘drive’ and motivated’ on our CVs these attributes are clearly rarer than many of us would like.  No doubt that many people never get to fulfil their dreams because life/bills and other priority simply get in the way but to see so many people given an opportunity to grow, learn or create and not take it, is amazing to me.

Trying is clearly something that needs to be celebrated, because the evidence is that most people would rather not.

 

©2020 Oliver Gwynne

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